Marks & Spencer: Competitive Advanteges and Future Stragegies

Topics: Strategic management, Marks & Spencer, Brand Pages: 10 (2479 words) Published: May 23, 2012
Strategy Management


1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY…………………………………………………………..3 2. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………3 3. DISCUSSION, ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS……………………………………...3 4. CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………….6 5. BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………....8


This report will outline Marks and Spencer’s current capabilities by examining the group’s internal environment and competitive advantages. In other to do so, a SWOT analysis will be use. The study of the current situation will produce recommendations for future strategies.

Marks and Spencer Group (M & S) is an iconic and leading retailer of food, home ware and clothing items in the UK and worldwide. The company has its main presence in UK where it operates over 700 stores. Abroad, it sells goods and services in more than 320 stores in over 40 countries. ( 2012) Many revolutionary changes have been implemented throughout the years with numerous changes in its leadership. All this has translated to numerous changes in its strategy even though the core principles of the company have almost stayed the same: offering good quality products at sensible prices. This paper will analyse the current internal environment and how M & S should plan its future strategy accordingly.

The internal and external environments of an organization are key to establish a business strategy. For the purpose of this assignment, only the internal part will be studied. There are many different ways to analysis the internal environment of a company but the following approach will be use: the SWOT analysis.

As Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2008) explain, this tool looks into the current conditions of the organization internally (Strengths and weaknesses) and externally (Opportunities and Threats) and how a company can use this information to develop a future strategy. Marks and Spencer’s core strengths and weaknesses and areas of development or decline are analysed and presented below.

  Strong brand image and recognition. M& S has a very good reputation for high quality products and services (Cross, P, & Harvey-Nicholls, S 2011). Innovation: there is a department dedicated to identifying new business opportunities such as the financial services and a new food ranges. From introducing a new vegetable like white broccoli aimed to children (Jan, M 2012) and micro pears (Horticulture Week 2011) to new financial services (M&Money: credit cards, insurance, savings…etc.)  “Strong market position in the clothing segment” DATAMONITOR (2011). According to this report, M& S continues to be the number one clothing retailer in the UK.


Fashionable shopping environment: ‘shops within shops’. According to British Baker (2012), “Marks and Spencer has confirmed it plans to roll out its new in-store bakery format to all stores by mid-2013”. These new bakeries will have something that no other supermarket has, an oven that makes bread from raw dough in store.

 

Tactical store locations and outlet network (barriers to competitor entry) and strong property asset portfolio (DATAMONITOR, 2011). Corporate Social Responsibility/environmental leadership – an effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is a potential source of competitive advantage as consumer demand companies to be more ethical and environmentally friendly. Campaigns like M&S’s Plan A, not only helps the brand image as ‘the world’s most sustainable retailer’ but also it is a great motivator for all the (Willis, J. 2011). This plan launched in 2007, focused in five areas: climate change, fair partnership, health, sustainable raw material and waste (Grayson, 2011).

Solid community profile. M&S is involved in many community projects and partnerships. A good example is the collaboration with...

Bibliography: Cross, P, & Harvey-Nicholls, S 2011, 'Diagnosis: Two industry experts on how Marks & Sepnce can modernise its image ', Marketing (00253650), p. 18, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, accessed 29 April 2012 'DATAMONITOR: Marks and Spencer Group plc ' 2011, Marks & Spencer Group, PLC SWOT Analysis, pp. 112, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, accessed 16 April 2012. Grayson, D. (2011) "Embedding corporate responsibility and sustainability: Marks & Spencer", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 30 Iss: 10, pp.1017 - 1026 'Guardian Unlimited: The Hard Sell: Marks & Spencer ', 2012, Guardian Unlimited (England), 28 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 26 April 2012. Henryk, Z 2012, 'Clothing shortages dent Marks & Spencer sales ', Huddersfield Daily Examiner (England), 18 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 30 April 2012. International Business, 2012, 'Marks and Spencer Sees Rising Pressure on Disposable Incomes in FY 2012 ', International Business Times, 4, Regional Business News, EBSCOhost, accessed 3 May 2012 International Business, 2012, 'Twiggy Designs First Fashion Collection for Marks And Spencers ', International Business Times, December, Regional Business News, EBSCOhost, accessed 2 May 2012. Thompson, J. 2012, 'IS BOLLAND MAKING HIS MARKS?; Business; Analysts fear that two years into his role, Marks & Spencer 's chief executive is still struggling. By James Thompson ', Independent, The (London, England), 28 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 21 April 2012. Jan, M 2012, 'MARKS & Spencer is to [...] ', Daily Mail, 24 February, Regional Business News, EBSCOhost, accessed 29 April 2012. Johnson, G. Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2008). Exploring Corporate Strategy. 9th Ed. Harlow:Prentice Hall. Rohaizatul, A. (2012) ' 'Making his mark; Making sure Marks & Spencer remains relevant is at the top of Mr Jan Heere 's to-do list for the brand 's global expansion., 2012, Straits Times, The (Singapore), 27 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 26 April 2012. 'Marks & Spencer reports 0.8% sales rise, with growth in food business but weaker performance in general merchandise ', 2012, M2 Equitybites, 17 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 26 April 2012. 'Marks & Spencer Sees Slight Sales Gain ' 2012, WWD: Women 's Wear Daily, 203, 19, pp. 8-1, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, accessed 29 April 2012. 'Marks & Spencer to roll out new-look ISBs in store revamp ' 2012, British Baker, p. 5, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, accessed 3 May 2012. 'Marks & Spencer to sell micro pears from Brogdale Farm ' 2011, Horticulture Week, p. 27, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, accessed 2 May 2012. Reuben, A. 2011 ‘Supermarket price war: Can they all be cheaspest?” BBC News accessed 1 May 2012 . PR Newswire 2011, 'IBM Helps Marks & Spencer Transform Web Site into Global, Multi-Channel Marketplace ', PR Newswire US, 18 November, Regional Business News, EBSCOhost, accessed 27 April 2012. Lee, S 2012, 'Liverpool Echo: ? FIRST Marks & Spencer fails [ ', Liverpool Echo (England), 20 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 26 April 2012.
Szakonyi, M 2011, 'Damco to Handle Marks & Spencer 's China Hub ', Joc Online, p. 10, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, accessed 29 April 2012. Walters, D. and Lancaster, J. (2000) "Implementing value strategy through the value chain", Management Decision, Vol. 38 Iss: 3, pp.160 – 178 'Western Morning News: Joanna Lumley and Marks & [...] ', 2012, Western Morning News (Plymouth, England), 27 April, NewsBank, EBSCOhost, accessed 29 April 2012. Mark and Spencer Group 201, accessed 18 April 2012 . Willis, J. 2011 “M&S –wholly embracing staff in plan to become the world’s most sustainable retailer”, accessed 27 April 2012.
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